Heart disease is the number one reason for most adult deaths. But these unadorned statistics do not show the minute detail that differentiates men and women when it comes down to heart issues.
Most of the information we know about the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases comes from treating middle-aged men. So, does the information we know stand true for women?
Are Women More Prone To Heart Attacks?
A woman’s heart may look like a man’s heart, but it is in no way similar. A woman’s heart is comparatively smaller. In fact, the walls that divide the heart’s chamber are thinner. And while a woman’s heart pumps blood faster than a man, the total output of blood squeezing out of the heart is 10% less.
According to the cardiologist in Dubai, when a woman is stressed, her blood pressure increases, and her heart starts pumping blood at higher rates. However, when a man is stressed, the arteries contract themselves, increasing the blood pressure.
So, do these differences matter? Yes, they do. Gender plays an important role in the symptoms and the outcome of heart issues.
Let’s dive deep to understand this more.
Women Have Risk factors That Men Don’t Have
There are certain diseases that affect only women. For instance, endometriosis, diabetes, polycystic ovary diseases that happen at the time of pregnancy increases the rate of CAD. in the case of women; CAD is the leading cause of heart attack.
In a report, it has been seen that endometriosis has the potential to increase the development of CAD by 400% in women under the age of 40.
However, there are other additional risk factors that women share with men.
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
- High sugar levels.
Like men, women are also prone to carry hereditary heart issues.
Women Are Generally Older When They Come Across Their First Heart Attack
Women are not prone to heart-related issues at their early age. The heart-related problem surfaces itself after menopause. Estrogen plays an important role in constraining cardiovascular disease.
However, with the advent of menopause, estrogen release reduces in women’s bodies. This marks the beginning of heart-related issues for women.
This is why you will find that most women get their first heart attack or any other heart-related issue at an older age compared to men.
The Symptoms Are Different
The symptoms of heart attack are different for men and women. Men experience several chest pains before experiencing a heart attack. In comparison, women have subtle symptoms for three to four weeks before experiencing a heart attack.
Heart attack red flags include:
- Excess Fatigue: If you are experiencing that a simple task is making you tired. Even if you are not exerting yourself, but you feel too tired to do anything.
- Shortness Of Breath: This symptom is hard to put your finger on. Watch carefully when you are finding yourself short on breath. If this worsens with time, it might be a symptom of a heart attack.
- Pain In The Neck: This is one of the symptoms to note at. Even if your full body functioning is ok, you will experience pain in your back, neck, and jaw. Watch your pain start at your chest and spread to your back. That’s when you will notice it is a symptom of heart-related issues.
Women’s CAD Are Sometimes Hard To Diagnose
An X-ray movie is the best test to see blockage of arteries. However, in women’s cases, it affects small arteries, which are really hard to identify in x-rays movies. This is why most of the women, even after having an “all clear” sign from an angiogram, continue to face heart disease symptoms.
How To Protect Yourself From A Heart Attack?
Whether you are a man or a woman, it is never too late to start taking care of your heart. Here are some steps you can take towards taking care of your heart.
- Quit Smoking or don’t even start.
- Get regular exercise.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Maintain a normal body weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar.